You need to go in

your back office and say you don’t want to pay the $49 a month anymore. We got sucked into this by our pastor. After 3 months of doing more research into it – discovered a lot of the commissions were made off of “extra fees” that got charged and that you could book direct with airlines for $10 cheaper, etc.

I joined this forum-blog a few months back

after my one and only short stint with an MLM. Prior to joining I have to admit that I was not very familiar with the whole MLM concept at all. I was fortunate to get out before like so many others, I lost a fortune. What I did lose was a lot of time that I can never get back, and yes, some money that could have been much better spent. I joined the forum I suppose to ease my guilt. I did feel a little guilty for being the “quitter” that my upline was convincing me I was. I wanted to see that there were others like myself that were hard working and dedicated individuals, but that MLM had failed, not me.
I have been surprised by what I have seen. I cannot believe the number of people that come on here looking for justification of their new MLM or looking to improve their recruiting techniques. Are people gluttons for punishment or what?! Why would you put yourself through that again? Do people really think that one MLM is better than another?
I have only posted a few times and lurk occasionally because quite frankly, it irritates me that people come on here and behave that way. PW, I have read through some of your responses to such posts and understand why you allow them. You have the patience of a saint! I for one cannot figure these people out!
I am sure that I will get ripped apart for this analogy, but this is the comparison that I think of. It reminds me of people joining a forum for hurricane survivors and then posting. “Hey anybody know of any vacant lots in a hurricane zone? It will be o.k. this time because the builder I have this time is different, he promises me a much better and stronger foundation, I won’t lose everything this time.”
Anyway, a very big thank you to the people that helped me realize that I was not alone. I am not the only one that made a huge mistake and fell for the MLM bull. I am just thankful that I learned from that mistake and will never touch another MLM with a ten foot pole. I feel bad for the people that get sucked in everyday. I do not however, feel the least bit sorry for the people that choose to get sucked in yet again.

Thank you so much for responding

I am so sorry that MLMs have put such a strain on your marriage relationship. It is so hard to sit back and watch your loved ones get so caught up in all of this. Take care and I hope that things work out well for you.

You hit the nail on the head in your opening statement about how it changed your family

Like any other cult founded on nonsense, MLMs need to take complete control of their members. Separation from non-inducted family members is crucial to their success.

I have seen in it my life as my wife has been sucked in to one of these. Her product will cure every illness known to man, providing you use enough of it, and wear it 24/7. Naturally, no one can meet these requirements so they have a built-in excuse when it doesn’t work. Nonetheless, to her, I am a “non-believer”, and people who visit their doctor and take prescribed medication are just throwing their money away.

My wife is the most caring person in the world, and she really thinks she is doing good. They have convinced her to disregard anything I say, and to ignore anything that might be counter to their programming. Recently she told me that all the husbands are against this at first, but we will change our tune once the money starts rolling in. Which, of course, will never happen.

Needless to stay, this has caused a strain on our relationship and family. I have not given up on her, but no longer try to engage in discussions. I have resigned myself to a poorer retirement and lower current standard of living as she pursues the good life through MLM, rather than wasting her time at a JOB. Thankfully, my JOB pays well enough to support us in relatively expensive Southern California.

Those of you who visit here sincerely questioning the virtues of any MLM – there are none. It does not matter what the magic product is.
The same model is repeated in every instance, and is designed solely to pass money from you to the top. And YOU will always be at the bottom, or just above the friends and family you roped in. Then they will be at the bottom. How do MLMers live with that?

No real business would put its future in the hands of an unmanaged sales force whose only qualification is signing up. Big pharma is not squashing cures for cancer, lupus and balding – they would pay billions to buy the company that has one. Yet instead, MLMs sell their lotions, potions and pills one box at a time through housewives? Get real.

This could be why less than 1% of MLMers make any money at all. You are not independent distributors, you are customers, getting 20% discounts on items marked up 1000%! MLM is no more a business than tearing up $100 bills in your shower is sailing.

MLMs prey on the people who join them, and the people who use their generally worthless and always overpriced products. They should be legislated out of existence.

I have several family members

that have been sucked into the Arbonne scam which has dramatically changed our family. It almost feels like they have been caught up in a cult and we can not say or do anything to get them out. Does anyone out there have any advice?
The family members that are not involved in Arbonne are actually treated like outcasts or the stupid ones. The Arbots are extremely arrogant and aggressive and have seemed to lost all of the values that they grew up with. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is great when people can find a way of providing for their families, but this definitely has gone too far. They are never satisfied and feel that hey need to keep chasing the carrot dangling out in front of them no matter what the price is that they have to pay. I bet the Arbonne execs. are laughing all the way to the bank.
I used to buy Arbonne from my sister until I found out the scam that it really is. I then purchased Arbonne on e-bay and now have completely stopped buying the products. There are other products on the market that are just as good or better for a fraction of the cost, such as Burt’s Bees which is truly natural. I just don’t feel that I should be involved in supporting this scam anymore. Does anyone out there know how the company is doing in light of the present economy? I hope it is okay that I used this site to vent and I am hoping someone will have some good advice.
Thanks for listening!

Well, at least I know not to join the MLM

my cousin tried to prospect me into (Arbonne). On the other hand, I’m not sure what would be the best way to get her out. I think I’ll try the question approach. I’ll start with something like:

“How much money are you REALLY making? Is it the same as they’re claiming?”

Or I could use another, more direct and to the point:

“Is it too late to ask for your old job back?”

Monday the 23rd is my anniversary of

leaving the orange fog, and I’m spending my 3 day weekend at the Ritz-Carlton, well it was a b-day gift from my husband, but he doesn’t even know it is the celebration of me leaving the orange fog, it was the only avilable weekend they had even at 2 months in advance of booking it…

And we didn’t get the room from MLM, but from having a real job… ha

Please know that you are making a difference

I have convinced my “Arbot-in-waiting” to stay out of the fog. No more Arbonne! No more sample kits in the bathroom! No more shiny brochures and pat phrases!
Thank goodness nothing was signed or purchased.

Thanks to the information here, and on other web sites, there is one person who will not have to learn the hard way.

My 0.02 cents

I actualy get my products now from other ex-consultants and since they are looking to dump them for 50% off or more, I get to stock up, only shipping is expensive…

the mlmwhoesale forum (I don’t know if I am allowed to reference that forum or not, some forums don’t like advertisements for “other” forums. I’m not advertising for that forum persay, I got rid of what I needed to on that site, and now I only buy or trade from that forum)

but a lot of Arbonne people are selling products CHEAP on that forum.

The only thing to keep in mind with ebay is you don’t know how “OLD” the products are, unless the sellers are honest and give you the dates on the products. with the mlmwholsale forum it is manditory to tell that information before you buy, so to prevent buying dried up goop ask for a date on the bottle and the vitamins have a use by date. make sure nothing is expired or more than 2 years old when buying Arbonne products from ebay or other non- authorized arbonne websites etc.

I too was sucked in the the Arbonne fog as us formers call it!

I was a consultant for over 3 years, I NEVER promoted to anything, I had a nice downline of oh 15 or so people, for being just a consultant… I only recived 4% on just the people I had signed up, not the people that they signed up etc. So “if i ever promoted” i might of made more, etc. plus doing the monthly $100 active status to get a 0.23 cent paycheck… it was a real nightmare!

but here is the jaw dropper, I spent OVER $6k over that 3 year period. I went to all of the local meetings, and sometimes they were $20+ at the door to get in, I flew 1500 miles to the midwest for “trainings”. I went to their yearly national conferences, twice! The event is supposed to “change your business” yeah the last one, changed my business so much that I quit!

Before I left the event in St. Louis, MO (great town!), I was walking around and reflecting on my business, life etc. and I actually felt at peace with deciding that I didn’t want to do it anymore. So I left St Louis, and didn’t mention a peep about the event, and got out of Arbonne alltogether. My membership didn’t expire until October, and I was so over it, i didn’t even have to think about should i renew for the discount…?

Now here I am almost one year that day is coming up, and I’m going to celebrate when April 23rd comes of my freedom from it!

Also, I had issues with Stian Moreck regarding the DSA, and about getting scammed out of $300 in products, because I did those dreaded pups, (thats what they were called before they became kits) and because I still live 10 mins from corporate, and I work about 3 mins from corporate, more than once I had to go there in person (kicking and screaming and demanding) to have my order, because they said it was lost in the mail. I even knew (from working for the City of Irvine) that they did NOT have permits to do their remodeling work, but when you went to the building and walked in you could see they were doing construction. So when I emailed VP about them doing construction w/out permits, so WHY is willcall closed? I suddenly got my orders quickler… go figure? In fact it was me that denied one of their submittials for remodeling, (they had 3 phases), because there was corrections needed to be addressed on the plans (anyone in construction will understand what i am saying). So when I emailed Cadice and all of those who haa corporate VP’s, about will call being closed, due to remodeling, I even put their plan check submittial number in reference, and it was like my orders went from the normal 48 hours hold, to I was getting my orders the next day via UPS.

Rambling, I have 3 cups of coffee in me! I could go on and on with my troubles with the company, and yet I stood up for the company for 3 years and would not quit the business. Even my mother and husband told me to quit, and I burnt down a lot of bridges over that company!

if my testimony doesn’t alarm you, or scare you away… LOL I don’t know what would.

I even told my “Arbot” friend when I wasn’t going to continue, their response was, “oh! Don’t quit before your Arbonne payday!”.. and after I got back, I was like shove it on the Arbonne payday, if i didn’t get “paid” by now, who knows if I’ll ever get “paid”!

An easy way to prove this is to go to ebay….LOL!!

“Good” MLMs might have an online ebay store – but those MLMs who load up their people with too much inventory, or require training materials, usually find their products getting “dumped” on ebay by disgruntled members.

There are thousands of Arbonne products for sale (cheap!) on ebay. The $15 Vapor-rub goo my son-in-law had is on ebay for $6.

THAT pretty much tells me everything *I* need to know…LOL!!!

AH! Their key selling line!

They used it on me and it worked. And its not just $500 worth of product. They will push you into buying their “Starter Set” which is 4 very expensive kits of the anti-aging line and by the time you’ve totaled your tax and shipping and “bonus products”, you’ve spent $1200. (And to this they will say “What business can you start for $1200 and recover your investment in a few months??” which is also a lie) Then you have to count all the “business aids” they will tell you that you need. I spent several more hundred dollars on those. Then your gas driving to every relative and friends house “dropping off kits” for people to try….all the catalogs you have to buy…..all the trade shows you will go to…..the conference fees…..the monthly meeting fees….the list goes on and on.

If your friend will listen, you need to emphasize to them that this is much more than “just $500”. As with anything in Arbonne, its deception deception deception. They glaze over the truth and make it sound so wonderful. I was told I would be RVP (the people who drive the car and make $6k a month) in 6 months. In 6 months, I could barely hold onto my district manager status. They claim at that level that you make $250-$300 monthly….I was barely making $75. I did everything they told me to do, I spent hours on the phone, I spent hours traveling trying to sell their highly overpriced products. My husband was getting frustrated b/c I was gone all the time when he was home.

LIES LIES LIES…its all lies. I hope you can point them to that website I gave you and help them avoid this trap. If not, just smile and be there to comfort them when they’ve figured it out the hard way.

Sorry to be so wordy! You can email me personally anytime.

I doubt you’ll get much more than testimonial information

We could give you substantial information on the MLM industry, even if not directly related to Arbonne, but you can bet that the person you are trying to convince will resist any evidence that you might present.
The pat answer is “Our company/group is different. We don’t operate like that. Those critics aren’t talking about OUR company.”

The only way I can think of to succeed in getting someone out of an MLM is to create doubt in their minds by ASKING QUESTIONS. You cannot tell people that they are wrong, but they can come to that conclusion on their own by discovering the information for themselves.

So asking questions that begin with “I don’t understand…” or “Can you explain…” might be the best path to take. Make THEM do the research in order to answer your questions. Then if the answers sound scripted (which they probably will), you can question the answers and make them look into it even deeper.

You’ll need to be on your toes, and you’ll need to learn as much as you can stomach. It is not easy, and I would not plan for a good outcome, at least not right away.

We’re here to assist with this process, so you are entirely welcome to bring any questions you have to us. Remember, we have nothing to gain by telling you what we know. Arbonne leaders (and leaders of other MLMs) hve much to gain by trying to mislead you and discredit us.

Best of Luck to you.

Someone I love is considering getting into Arbonne

I am skeptical. Can anyone share with me compelling, credible evidence and anecdotes to help me shed light on this MLM company?

I am not interested in stories that could be about any company (shipping problems, difficulty making returns, etc.) or how MLMs change the dynamic between you and your friends.

I am interested in solid evidence from reliable sources.


She is

But you don’t have to completely “stand back and let it happen.” You can get involved.

The IMPORTANT thing is that you can’t get involved in a confrontational way. You’ll lose that battle.

The only way I know COULD work would be to get some education about MLM, in general, and Arbonne, specifically, and then begin asking questions of her. They need to be questions that she will need to research to find answers.

“Why” and “how” questions will be the best. “Why does such-and-such work this way?” “How does this work?” If you just don’t understand anything about it, she’ll have to do research to provide you with answers. And the more research she has to do, the more likely she’ll encounter sites, such as this one, that give the other side of the story, the one her mentors don’t want her to hear.

Read as much of our archive as you can. I know it’s huge, but if you go back a month or so and start reading, you’ll begin to get the picture. I’m working on a document that will have some sample questions in it, and you’ll be welcome to use that for some of your intervention.

Above everything else, DON’T condemn what she’s doing. At least, not yet. Don’t call her stupid for falling for it. Don’t call it a scam.
And if she does find out the truth and quit Arbonne, don’t tell her, “I told you so.” These are all loaded comments that will cause her to dig in her heels with the business or think you are losing respect for her. None of this is good for a relationship. (You may be able to say “I told you so” later – once her own feelings about it are sorted out and she can appreciate you for steering her away from a scam.
She’ll appreciate that you’re looking out for her.)

My wife and I went through 5+ years of Amway and stayed together. I know there are couples who went through less and split up over it.
And I know there are couples who went through more (sometimes MUCH more) and stayed together. So it doesn’t have to end badly for your relationship. But you have to be careful about it now.

Good Luck to you.

My girlfriend is starting an Arbonne business

I have very strong feelings about the way she’s being lured in. I guess I have to just stand back and let it happen, but I feel like she’s making a big mistake.

I attended a “party” last night at her house. This was her second party, and in attendance were myself, another friend of hers and her mentor, or whatever they are called. The mentor ran the show, “training” my girlfriend, and presenting the products to us. I questioned the mentor on a couple ingredients, and she seemed a little put off by my cynicism. I’m just being me. I’m a cynic, and a skeptic, and I really don’t trust these people.
They’re a pyramid, no matter how you cut it. And the numbers I’ve seen, as far as success, sales, commissions, etc are staggering.
After the meeting I felt manipulated, and I felt that my intelligence had been insulted. It was like being in that commercial that you turn off, only I can’t turn this one off. They played this game with us… gave us a “gift” and then asked us not to open it until they said I could. So I had this thing there through the whole meeting, and at the end, she asked how many names I had on my list of people “who might benefit from Arbonne”. Mine had none. I don’t want to use my friends to get whatever is in that little box. Basically they said that if I hosted a party and got four friends to show up, that I could keep the “gift”. I wanted to tell her something explicit that I won’t say here, but I just politely declined. So, she made me give the “gift” back. Hmm, sounds more like a carrot on a string.

Anyway, it pains me to think of my girlfriend doing this kind of thing. It seems underhanded, desperate, greedy and cheap. Of course I was there to support her yesterday, but I just don’t know if I can support this in the long run. Part of me says to just hang in there and let things play out as they may. But, its already come between us and its only been a few weeks of her Arbonnizing.

Any thoughts out there?

My sister in law quit her full time job to do Arbonne full time

However, she denies it! Is this part of Arbonne being a cult? She told her boss there are other things she needs to take care of in her life like concerns she has for her parents, wants to do missions, etc….She told her boss if she heard that she quit to do Arbonne, not to believe it. Yet she is just doing Arbonne. I have noticed that she is looking for business builders who are wanting to invest lots of money from payday loans no credit check (I am guesmycreditsing so she can move up the ladder to start earning income.) She says she has invested a lot of money, I asked her if she’s been able to recoup the money invested and she said “Not yet, that will come later. She will never share her success with money, but she’s dead set on sharing her uplines success) This is the Atlanta INMAN arbonne forum. Now she’s been going to her workplace hanging out there…..Don’t know if she realizes she made a mistake or if she’s desperate to make new contacts for business building purposes. I think she’s making a fool of herself going back and just hanging out at her old job every now and then….She says a few people need her help there with their work because they are new.
I don’t know who those people are, but know that sounds weird. Any words of wisdom here?

I hear your concern

Although I am 26 and single, I went through a similar challenge, not with a girlfriend but rather with my family. I had visions of ‘Freedom 30’ for a while, but thankfully never really got consumed by the business as the people and environment always kind of turned me off, not to mention the fact that I saw my family doing everything they were told for years, busting their butts, and maybe making a slight profit. This is despite the fact that the diamonds will feed you cliches like ‘the business is 100% predictable’, and ‘no one that has done everything required has ever failed’. Those statements are simply not true. The business literally consumed my family for a number of years, things are starting to show improvements as of late thank goodness!

Support your boyfriend, and say you care about his best interests. Try and introduce him to what is truly ‘the big picture’ . Try and make him understand that the information that he is being presented is very one sided, and not objective. Try and get some credible info from the other side into his hands. Personally I found the Bo Short (ex diamond who resigned for ethical reasons, do a search and you should find his name) resignation letter worked wonders as my family viewed his word as credible. The recent Don Storms and Joe and Doris Shaw situations also don’t look good for the business. Point out that many diamonds have either resigned, been terminated or just had their business collapse, hence going back to former careers. Connect that with the fact that the residual income theory is a myth. Why would many diamonds have gone back to work if a six figure salary just rolled in every year? Try and make him understand that if he will be big in the business he will have a lifelong commitment(at least as long as the business exists!) to it focused largely on the sale of tools and that he will likely be a very busy guy, not kicking his feet up on some tropical beach. Again, the Bo Short letter covers all of his and much more, it is a must read. The upcoming Dateline show would be recommended as well.

Agree with most of the previous posts, get at your boyfriend sooner rather than later, as the commitment will only grow, and could consume him for years. Get him the objective info that I suggested above, show him what he could do with the money he will be wasting on training materials, and if he is an aspiring entrepreneur help introduce him to other potential business models that will almost certainly have a better success potential than Quixtar.

If none of this works, and he truly becomes more devoted to Quixtar than you, than I guess you would have to think long and hard about your relationship!

Hi Valerie – this morning I watched a TV program

that dealt with gambling addiction; and I couldn’t help but compare it to what happens when someone gets “plugged into” an AMO. They are willing to risk everything: savings/relationships/childrens’ futures/legitimate employment/education…..the list goes on and on. Each “addict” seems to have a point where they finally realize that the “easy money” isn’t going to come – but I can’t predict how awful it will have to get, before your boyfriend realizes he’s just “another brick in the wall” (sorry – I’m showing my age!) But YOU need to determine at what point it will be prudent for you to leave lest you be dragged into the vortex with him. And my motherly advice would be to delay marrying this man until he’s free of the grasp of the “system”.

I wish I had more encouraging advice for you – but there are many older posts regarding relationships between pros and antis. Some antis were successful in rescuing their loved ones; others were not. Benefit from the wisdom they have shared, and do what’s best for you.

You have every reason to be scared to death

If your boyfriend conducts business as the systems teach, it will definitely become the center of your life. You will plan everything around the meetings, functions, prospecting, plans, etc.. Vacations are business- centered. (You’ll go to some lovely places for functions, you just won’t have any free time to see them. You’ll be stuck in a rah-rah meeting until the wee hours of the morning.) The system teaches that every family get-together is a prospecting venue. Some systems even have the gall to suggest the proper time in your business to have children. Or buy a car. And what kind to buy.

I’m pulling for you, I hope your boyfriend sees the light and runs for the hills. Hopefully you can find some support and encouragement on this board. I’ve really been impressed with the wisdom of these people…

Take care

Your fears are well grounded and realistic

At some point, you will have to decide whether you’re willing to remain in his life while he destroys it. . . or his upline might force him to choose between you and the “business.”

You need to educate yourself about cults, and about how they recruit and retain members. There are book recommendations in a number of previous posts. Just do a search here on “cult”

If you don’t get him out now

it’s not gonna end anytime soon, I was in for 12 years, and i told my girlfriend that i would have her retired, she found someone else who made more money then i did and left me, I spent thousands of dollars, and there going to suck out every dime they can, thru tapes, books, meetings, functions, leadership meetings, Even barbeques.

I’m sorry that you are having this experience, but it is real

Your family members are in a cult like experience. I’m not sure if you have receieved advice yet, but one thing I can say as someone that was sucked into it, I was very thankful that my loved ones were still there for me when I got out of the fog of MLM. I guess I would just say love them in spite of the fact that what is coming out their mouths is garbage. I hope they see the light soon and back away from Arbonne.

Tim Sales is just another mlm guru

that is profitting off MLMers by selling books, tapes, websites, leads, blah, blah, blah. He is very smooth sounding but he is promoting MLM which this online group here wholeheartedly is against. His message is the the same as any other guru though he does come off as credible as he has tought mlm at a university etc, was in the navy etc. But don’t be fooled. MLM is MLM however you spin it.

I can help you with some general signs

Shakey operations tend to really emphasize positive thinking. As an older guy I knew said, “Let me tell you, if I’m making money, I will have a positive attitude.” He also added, “If I want a positive attitude, I can go to church.”

The overpriced product, the Amway ten dollar bottle of shampoo. ‘Concentrated, so that just a little pea-sized portion in the palm of your hand. Such good quality for your hair . . . ‘
Well, how many people are going to be buying a ten dollar bottle of shampoo, and how often, especially if it does last as long as they say?

And the all-time biggest sign of a rip-off sales organization: They drive you around a neighborhood in white vans!

(Learn from seasoned poker players, fold the hand early)

The same older salesman told me, in response to claims that it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, that a good salesperson–“Well, let me tell you, it does matter what you’re selling!”

I too was hoodwinked by MLMs because

I was deluded enough to think that their products would supplement my family’s income. I have seen enough companies (at least 6 of them) with the MLM format to discern that most of them follow the same modus operandi:

1) to recruit new members and tell them that anyone can make money with their system

2) to feed them false hopes that anyone can sell even without business training or capital

3) that they can have the opulent lifestyle they have been dreaming of for years by being a member of the MLM

4) that this scheme is controversial (but it works) because it can generate income if you recruit more and more people for your downline & sell their products (it’s more of the former than the latter),so its ‘enemies’ conspire to bring this system down.

By ‘enemies’,they mean people who are against the system either by dropping out of it,being ignorant (not trying MLM at all and condemning it wholesale) or being intimidated (since its earning potential conflicts with their business interests)

Therefore,the MLM proponents claim that people drop out of the system because they are ignorant,not well trained,did not try hard enough or did not use the system at all due to some bias.